Public Release: 5-May-2016
Science Scientists watch bacterial sensor respond to light in real time
Researchers have made a giant leap forward in taking snapshots of ultrafast reactions in a bacterial light sensor. Using the world's most powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, they were able to see atomic motions as fast as 100 quadrillionths of a second -- 1,000 times faster than ever before.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Helmholtz Association, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Academy of Finland, European Union
Public Release: 4-Apr-2016 Major upgrade will boost power of world's brightest X-ray laser
Construction begins today on a major upgrade to a unique X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The project will add a second X-ray laser beam that's 10,000 times brighter, on average, than the first one and fires 8,000 times faster, up to a million pulses per second.
Public Release: 1-Apr-2016
Nature Communications X-rays reveal how a solar cell gets its silver stripes
The silver electrical contacts that carry electricity out of about 90 percent of the solar modules on the market are also one of their most expensive parts. Now scientists from two Department of Energy national laboratories have used X-rays to observe exactly how those contacts form during manufacturing.
Public Release: 10-Feb-2016
Nature SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules
Often the most difficult step in taking atomic-resolution images of biological molecules is getting them to form high-quality crystals needed for X-ray studies of their structure. Now researchers have shown they can get sharp images even with imperfect crystals using the world's brightest X-ray source at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Helmholtz Association, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, European Research Council, Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, University of Hamburg, BioXFEL Science Technology Center, and others
Public Release: 28-Jan-2016
Nature Energy Putting silicon 'sawdust' in a graphene cage boosts battery performance
Scientists have been trying for years to make a practical lithium-ion battery anode out of silicon, which could store 10 times more energy per charge than today's commercial anodes and make high-performance batteries a lot smaller and lighter. But two major problems have stood in the way: Silicon particles swell, crack and shatter during battery charging, and they react with the battery electrolyte to form a coating that saps their performance.
Battery Materials Research program of the Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office
Public Release: 11-Jan-2016
Nature Energy A simple way to make lithium-ion battery electrodes that protect themselves
Scientists at three Department of Energy national laboratories have discovered how to keep a promising new type of lithium ion battery cathode from developing a crusty coating that degrades its performance. The solution: Use a simple manufacturing technique to form the cathode material into tiny, layered particles that store a lot of energy while protecting themselves from damage.
Public Release: 19-Nov-2015 $13.5 million Moore grant to develop working 'accelerator on a chip' prototype
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded $13.5 million to Stanford University for an international effort, including key contributions from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, to build a working particle accelerator the size of a shoebox based on an innovative technology known as 'accelerator on a chip.'
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Public Release: 5-Nov-2015
Science Researchers discover a new dimension to high-temperature superconductivity
A team led by scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory combined powerful magnetic pulses with some of the brightest X-rays on the planet to discover a surprising 3-D arrangement of a material's electrons that appears closely linked to a mysterious phenomenon known as high-temperature superconductivity.
Public Release: 10-Sep-2015
Nano Letters SLAC's ultrafast 'electron camera' visualizes ripples in 2-D material
New research led by scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University shows how individual atoms move in trillionths of a second to form wrinkles on a three-atom-thick material. Revealed by a brand new 'electron camera,' one of the world's speediest, this unprecedented level of detail could guide researchers in the development of efficient solar cells, fast and flexible electronics and high-performance chemical catalysts.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, SLAC UED/UEM Program Development Fund, German National Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation
Public Release: 31-Aug-2015 World's most powerful digital camera sees construction green light
The Department of Energy has approved the start of construction for a 3.2-gigapixel digital camera -- the world's largest -- at the heart of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Assembled at the DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the camera will be the eye of LSST, revealing unprecedented details of the universe and helping unravel some of its greatest mysteries.
Public Release: 26-Aug-2015
Nature Antimatter catches a wave at SLAC
A study led by researchers from the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles has demonstrated a new, efficient way to accelerate positrons, the antimatter opposites of electrons. The method may help boost the energy and shrink the size of future linear particle colliders -- powerful accelerators that could be used to unravel the properties of nature's fundamental building blocks.
Public Release: 17-Aug-2015
Nature Scientists discover atomic-resolution details of brain signaling
Scientists have revealed never-before-seen details of how our brain sends rapid-fire messages between its cells. They mapped the 3-D atomic structure of a two-part protein complex that controls the release of signaling chemicals, called neurotransmitters, from brain cells. Understanding how cells release those signals in less than one-thousandth of a second could help launch a new wave of research on drugs for treating brain disorders.
Public Release: 22-Jul-2015
Nature Long-sought discovery fills in missing details of cell 'switchboard'
A biomedical breakthrough in the journal Nature reveals never-before-seen details of the human body's cellular switchboard that regulates sensory and hormonal responses. The work is based on an X-ray laser experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Public Release: 19-Jun-2015
Physics Review Letters New 'molecular movie' reveals ultrafast chemistry in motion
Scientists for the first time tracked ultrafast structural changes, captured in quadrillionths-of-a-second steps, as ring-shaped gas molecules burst open and unraveled. Ring-shaped molecules are abundant in biochemistry and also form the basis for many drug compounds. The study points the way to a wide range of real-time X-ray studies of gas-based chemical reactions that are vital to biological processes.
Public Release: 17-Jun-2015
Nature Communications Study finds a way to prevent fires in next-generation lithium batteries
In a study that could improve the safety of next-generation batteries, researchers discovered that adding two chemicals to the electrolyte of a lithium metal battery prevents the formation of dendrites -- 'fingers' of lithium that pierce the barrier between the battery's halves, causing it to short out, overheat and sometimes burst into flame.
The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (a Department of Energy Innovation Hub)
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.